HONG KONG (Reuters) - Beijing Guoan notched up a ninth win in a row to maintain their five-point lead in the Chinese Super League on Sunday as Roger Schmidt’s side cruised to a 3-0 win over promoted Shenzhen FC.
The league leaders looked set to extend their advantage over reigning champions Shanghai SIPG in second, only for striker Hulk to score from the penalty spot to secure Vitor Pereira’s team a 2-1 win over Shandong Luneng 11 minutes into stoppage time.
Roger Guedes had put Shandong in front inside the first minute when he latched on to goalkeeper Wang Dalei’s long clearance to slot beyond Yan Junling.
SIPG were reduced to 10 men when Wei Zhen was sent off for a second booking, but Elkeson equalised from close range with 16 minutes remaining and Shanghai pushed for the winner. The game ran deep into added time due a series of referrals to the video assistant referee, which saw a late Shandong effort ruled out before Hulk scored from the spot.
Referee Milorad Mazic consulted VAR before deciding Zhang Chi had handled the ball in the penalty area.
There was less drama at Workers’ Stadium as Beijing shrugged off Shenzhen, with Cedric Bakambu scoring twice in the first 19 minutes as Schmidt’s side took command before Renato Augusto put the result beyond doubt two minutes after the hour mark.
“We had a good control of the rhythm and we didn’t give our opponent any chances,” said Schmidt.
“We created opportunities, took the lead and controlled the situation on the field very well.”
Guangzhou Evergrande slipped further off the pace, however, as Fabio Cannavaro’s side shared the points in a 2-2 draw with Jiangsu Suning, with Wei Shihao scoring from the penalty spot to earn the seven-times champions a draw.
Gao Lin had put Guangzhou in front but goals from Eder Martins and Alex Teixeira in seven second-half minutes looked set to seal the win for Jiangsu, only for Wei to net from the spot two minutes into added time.
Jordi Cruyff’s Chongqing Lifan moved up to fourth with a 2-0 win over last-placed Beijing Renhe.
There was further woe for Chris Coleman at Hebei CFFC as his side crashed to a 3-2 loss against Henan Jianye that leaves the Welshman’s team second-bottom with almost a third of the seasongone.
Shanghai Shenhua were held to a 1-1 draw by Tianjin Teda, with Giovanni Moreno scoring five minutes into the second half to seal a point for Quique Sanchez Flores’s side.
Wuhan Zall moved out of the relegation zone thanks to a 2-1 win over Dalian Yifang after Jean Kouassi scored two minutes from fulltime to earn three points for Li Tie’s team while Guangzhou R&F also racked up a 2-1 win over Tianjin Tianhai.
Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Toby Davis